Sunday, August 21, 2016

Litwa on self-deification

Self-deification in Biblical Texts

Since the Enlightenment, many scholars have tried to extract the “real” history from mythicized characters in Jewish and Christian literature. They have aimed to reconstruct the true (or most historically plausible) Jesus, Simon of Samaria, and so on. I too wish to distinguish history (roughly: an account of what happened) from mythic themes permeating historiographical discourse. But I do not treat these themes as somehow secondary or unimportant. To the contrary, they are all-important, because myth, if truly myth, becomes our reality and shapes our sense of who we are.

See Also: Desiring Divinity: Self-deification in Early Jewish and Christian Mythmaking (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Iesus Deus: The Early Christian Depiction of Jesus as a Mediterranean God (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2014).

Becoming Divine: An Introduction to Deification in Western Culture (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2013).

By M. David Litwa
Department of Religion and Culture
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
August 2016
I noted a review of Iesus Deus here.